• An Invitation Has Arrived

    Open me next. Please open me. I can't breath. I need oxygen. Help! I'm feeling limp. Oh, finally. Thank goodness. I'm feeling much better now. Let my message in fine calligraphy be read. Take your time. Enjoy my look. As far as party invitations go, I'm first class.

    I'm handed off to a teenage girl who thumbtacks me to a bulletin board in the kitchen. She looks me over again and says something to her mom. I notice I'm placed between two other invitations. This is a busy family. I came from a fine stationery store where other birthday invitations and anniversary invitations were my nearest companions. They couldn't wait for a trip through the mail. I wonder if they've ended up in as good a spot as me.

    Another teenager enters the room and stands before me. She reads me carefully. To my astonishment she takes me down and replaces me with another invitation. How dare she! I was there first but now I'm thoughtlessly tossed onto the kitchen table with a stack of papers that are sure to diminish me.

    Here comes someone to my rescue. Hey, wait. Don't just lump me with the rest of them. Single me out. Where's my owner? She was here a minute ago. Wedding invitations are never treated this way. Even graduation party invitations get more respect. I'm the introduction to a special occasion that shouldn't be missed. I know not all invitations are created equal, but I'm important too.

    I'm flung onto an office desk and left to wallow. Goodbye sunny kitchen, hello dark room. Who will notice me here? Certainly there's been a mistake. I need to be seen so I make it into the calendar. Nothing else should interfere with the my special day on my note.

    What's this? I'm being picked up and rescued from the darkness. That didn't take long. I knew she'd find me. I'm headed back to the kitchen. This time I'm going on the refrigerator. Can you believe it? That's the best place to be! I'll be looked at all the time.

    While I was being printed, I got cozy with some shower invitations. They told me that baby shower invitations are the cutest and bridal shower invitations are the most delicate. There was some sheer paper called vellum being used to add formality to many of them. Some party invitations need it, others don't. But the ones that do surely end up on someone's refrigerator. Well here I am, proof that even the little guy can make it to the top.

    I imagine I'll be here for a couple of weeks. Birthday party invitations are sent two to four weeks early so I might as well get comfortable. I don't anticipate moving from this spot until the big day. I'm confident my position is safe.

    The kitchen's been quiet the past two weeks. Two graduation invitations arrived on the same day, but luckily I've stayed put. Today's Saturday, my RSVP date has passed and it's just a week until the birthday party. A large stack of mail is being carried into my view. Mom is sorting through it, making different piles. When done she begins opening letters from one of the stacks. One particular card brings a huge smile to her face.

    "Carla," she yells, "it's here. Come see the wedding shower invitation for Heather." Carla walks in and takes a look at what her mom is holding. I'm able to get a good look as well. "It's a gorgeous invitation," Carla says. I must agree. It is something to admire. It is rectangular in shape. A thick ivory cardstock with black old-fashioned cupids spread around the paper is beneath a piece of clear vellum that has the printed invitation on it. A black satin ribbon surrounds the top of the invitation with a bow at top center. Carla holds it up to her nose. "Oh my gosh, smell it, mom." Mom takes a whiff. "It smells like vanilla. I didn't know they could do that." 

    Carla turns and faces me. She reads over my calligraphy then reaches up to retrieve me. My biggest fear is coming true. Wait. Please. It's too early to take me down. I've got a week to go. Don't shorten my stay for an invitation with vellum. Death by vellum. I don't deserve it. Too late. I'm placed on the countertop and the new invitation takes my place. It takes two magnets to hold it up. Make me feel worse, why don't you. Then they leave. I'm not mentioned. I'm not relocated. I'm simply set aside. 

    Minutes go by. Then hours. I'm still in the same place. Dad comes in the kitchen, takes a glance at me, looks more closely at the other papers, then leaves. We are all untouched. Come morning, I've had some time to think. I've got to be the most attractive item lying around here so perhaps my fate is not quite sealed. Party invitations are often saved as mementos aren't they? Maybe I'm just in for new surroundings. I could get used to that. I promise I won't fade or fray. I decide change is good. Invite me to stay, please.



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